Enhancing Regional Cooperation in the Netherlands Through the Regional Budget

den Hoed, Wilbert (2019) Enhancing Regional Cooperation in the Netherlands Through the Regional Budget. [Report]

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    Abstract

    The Dutch national government Rutte III (2017- ) has launched a new approach to regional policy – the Regional Budget – which is a national instrument that can be accessed by self-governing regional partnerships. It also embodies a number of important themes in regional policy reforms across Europe. It awards funding competitively and aims to stimulate bottom-up regional coalitions and initiatives, with a view to unlocking added value via regional empowerment, but can also allocate funding to specific structurally weaker regions. Further, it targets a ‘Broad Definition of Welfare’ – i.e. wellbeing or quality of life – rather than simply economic growth. Against a background of broader measures (e.g. Top Sectors policy, City Deals), regional economic development policies have become spread across different national Ministries, while the sub-national dimensions of policies such as spatial planning and infrastructure have intensified. These reforms have also led to increased debate on potential scope for greater fiscal equalisation, as municipalities and provinces continue to rely on central government funds. With these issues in mind, this briefing examines Dutch regional inequalities and introduces the Regional Budget as an attempt to relocate economic development tasks and budgets to the regional level.

    ORCID iDs

    den Hoed, Wilbert ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1758-704X;